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The Art of Clean Up

CT Activity and Discussion Companion

The Art of Clean Up

Ursus Wehrli



This is a picture book that shows pairs of pictures. The first picture shows an everyday scene. The second picture takes items in that everyday scene and organizes them in some way.


Organizing data is a fundamentally important aspect of computing. Whether you are analyzing data or storing it for future use, how you organize the data has implications on how long it takes to process or find that data when you want it. This activity, along with the book, allows children to explore different organizations of items.

Activity for BEFORE reading the book:

Give each child a shoebox amount of school supplies. They are asked to organize the items in any way they want. Then students are asked to articulate in what way they organized their supplies. Then students are asked to organize their supplies in a different way than they did before, and they again articulate how they organized them.

You can then have a discussion about the different ways students organized their supplies, and what they liked about the different ways.

Reading the book:

First show the page with the everyday scene.

Then ask children to suggest different ways that something could be organized in the picture.

Then show the picture and ask how the items were organized. When you are discussing how they are organized, think about levels of organization. For example, you could have only one type of item (cars), and they are organized by color. However, you could have two different items (stems and needles), and they are first organized by which type of item, then they are organized within the item by ....

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